Travel and Food Living

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2013 Best of my Travel Adventure

By December 14, 2013 ,


Year-end review of my Travel Adventure...


Once, I dreamed to obtain a master's degree from Ateneo, I thought it was simply an illusion because before 2010, I was not interested to pursue a higher learning anymore. Then I listed two ambitious travels to make before settling down (laugh!) one abroad, one local, again I thought I was a bit mad and unrealistic, little did I know that embarking into a dreamy escape abroad is more sane and realistic than snagging a guy next door (sigh!).

God, with all His heavenly mercy and compassion, did give me a fulfilling year to remember with. I was able to achieve the three wishes I kept on listing in a white paper every Christmas Eve and on my birthday.

I finished my master's degree in April, traveled to Hongkong and Macau in June and went to Boracay in July. Whoaaa! Feeling lucky in life!!

But on the contrary...

Honestly, I haven't reached yet the pinnacle of my travel quest nor accomplished the things most travel bloggers in the world are doing---take a trip abroad twice a year and just explore and enjoy the places, as if nothing matters in the world except relaxation and pleasure. I have not done yet any risky travel exploits (except the helmet diving in Boracay, which to this date, the scariest and most adventurous escapade I ever made), like backpacking, going around and just take an adventure in a completely strange place alone. 

Nevertheless...

2013 is the best year for me as far as my travel adventure is concerned. I'd visited some of the most desirable holiday escapes in Asia and that's already a huge accomplishment. They were not headlong adrenaline rushes though (swimming with sharks in a pool for example) but I've got the best of both worlds with these travels, discovering and exploring the places and experiencing a different thrill and excitement.

As the year closes, I want to reminisce the good times I had with these adventures and hoping against hope, God will grant another wish next year for a back-to-back travel outing ^___^


Got to visit these two former European colonies, now part of the Special Administrative Region of China, last June 2013.

Truly memorable because it was my first time to travel abroad, it was a DIY (do-it-yourself) trip under a tight budget with no tour guide to rely on so the experience was more exciting, completely adventurous. We encountered so many blunders and ludicrous slip-ups along the way while exploring the places but it was genuinely exciting.

I learned and discovered so many things. From religiously following instructions at the immigration to observing how disciplined most people in Hongkong to discovering Victoria Harbor while walking along the Hongkong Museum of Art, few miles from our hotel.

Hongkong is simply sophisticated. The place is ultra modern, high-rising buildings, infrastructures, high-end boutiques and imported brands. The foods are fairly good, I enjoyed my meals because I loved oriental foods ^___^ Transportation is extremely comfortable. The subway. The double-decker buses. The tram. And all those amusement parks I thought I could never visit in the near future. The road is very clean and no annoying traffic.


Some of my memorable experiences/discoveries in Hongkong:
  • Huge airport (hehe!)
  • Searching the bus traveling to Kowloon (so difficult to ask bystanders, most of them cannot speak/understand English)
  • No sign board of destination in buses only number of bus stops.
  • Visiting the spectacular and magnificent Chinese classical twin gardens (Nan Lian & Chi Lin Nunnery)
  • State-of-the-art facilities especially public utility vehicles
  • The use of Octopus Card is a must when traveling to Hongkong. It's more practical.
  • Riding a tram in a reclining mode (wheew!)
  • Wandering around Victoria Harbour and Avenue of Stars
  • Traveling in a normal speed (no screeching, blowing of horn and overloading)
  • No dust and traffic!(love it so much)
  • Riding a cable car on top of the world passing through the scallop hills above the placid sea that divides Hongkong and Shanghai.
  • Riding a swirling tower more or less 20,000 feet above the ground!
  • Wandering around Victoria Harbour and Avenue of Stars
  • Shopping centers are interconnected.
  • So many transient hotels, clean and very affordable.
Our group visited Macau on the third day of June. Earned the monicker of being the Las Vegas in Asia, Macau is home to some of the most elegant Casino Resorts in the Pacific. The Venetian Sands, City of Dreams, The Galaxy. It was awe-inspiring indeed! We were able to visit the majestic Grand Emperor's Hotel in Macau city too, with all the Windsor splendours, including the scarlet uniformed guards wearing a bearskin hat similar to the House of Cavalry Guards stationed in Buckingham Palace, I felt the sense of witnessing the royal finery at this landmark. 

Macau is relatively smaller than Hongkong but the surrounding is more elegant. European influence is still very much evident on most of the structures. The design of the street and old buildings including the Leal Senado.

Cotai Strip is more fascinating than the Macau City proper because it houses the best Casino Resorts in Asia, opulence at its finest! Food in Macau is also great, I love the mode of serving because it came with a cup of hot green tea, yeey!

Some of my memorable experiences/discoveries in Macau:
  • Immigration is not really strict compared to Hongkong
  • Filipino day tour guides are available at the Ferry Terminal
  • Going around Macau can be done for free just hopped in at any of the Casinos' shuttle buses
  • Discovering free food taste around the busy souvenir's market
  • The history of the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral.
  • The Venetian has an Italian theme, very elegant while The Galaxy smells ultra fresh and fragrant, I wonder what kind of freshener the hotel is using.
  • It's more ideal to choose Cotai Jet when coming to Macau from Hongkong because it docks directly to Taipa terminal which is nearer to Cotai Strip.

    BORACAY

    With all the hypes of parties and fun and international recognitions as one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Boracay, without a doubt, is everyone's idea of a perfect holiday destination. But for me who is just living under a scanty budget with no room to entertain luxury relaxation, going to Boracay after Hongkong and Macau trip seems a crazy idea. But as we all know of course, God is bigger than any worries in the world. He allowed some form of miracles to take place and puff! Everything became so real.

    I traveled to Boracay with longtime friends and my sister last July 2, 2013. It was in Boracay that I truly experienced the wonders of being in a party island. Sooooo exciting and breathtakingly awesome. Boracay rocks!


    Some of my memorable experiences/discoveries in Boracay:

    • You can indeed visit Boracay under a tight budget, just plan the trip ahead of time and do lots of research before deciding to book anything.
    • Fun, adventure and excitement never sleep even during night time
    • Look for hotels at Station 2, it's more ideal. Very near to the party junctions and beach side.
    • It's okay to walk around the island in your bikinis or two piece hehe!
    • You can choose a better place to stay when you're already in the island
    • Foods are great!
    • It's so nice to walk along the seashore without footwear, the sugary sand is very relaxing to the palm of the feet.
    • The morning sunrise is very soothing and the sunset is amazingly beautiful and romantic.
    • Helmet diving is so scary!
    • Very long coastline with no breakwater.
    • I enjoyed the Banana boat ride so much!
    • Midnight strolling is great because the party has just started.
    • It is okay to go inside the bank and make transaction even if you are wet and  just wearing a swimwear.
    • Boracay is so lively and vibrant at night time
    • Lots of restaurants to choose from.
    • Souvenir's boutiques offer affordable items.
    • Ideal for family and large groups but I don't think it's a good place for honeymooners. It's a party island and not an exclusive resort.

    I would like to thank God for granting my three wishes this year and allowing me to enjoy life to the fullest.

    Traveling is simply fantastic even if you're just out there discovering the environment, exploring the places and not so much on the shopping itinerary, the memories are more enduring and lasting than the items you will buy. 

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